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New Era Newspaper Thursday July 13, 2017

New Era Newspaper Thursday July 13,

Vol. 22 No. 235 Windhoek, Namibia Thursday, July 13 2017 Ndeitunga likens SME Bank saga to organised crime Desie Heita Windhoek The Inspector-General of the Namibian Police, Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga, says evidence gathered by the police in Namibia and South Africa in the N0 million SME Bank saga points to a “high possibility of organised crime”. The police investigation concerns possible fraud, theft and contravention of Namibia’s Prevention of Organised Inside Today Pohamba to step down as Unam chancellor Former P resident Hifikepunye Pohamba has officially announced that he will be stepping down as the chancellor of the University of Namibia (Unam) in November this year. Page 3 Sick economy reacts well to consolidation medicine Finance Minister Calle Schlettwein is reasonably optimistic that the country’s economic activity will pick up pace this year, relative to the slowdown in 2016. However, he expects the recovery to be gradual, given the localised recessionary pressures since the third quarter of 2016. Page 9 Crime Act. Members of the Namibian police have travelled to South Africa where they acquired the cooperation of the South African National Prosecuting Authority to investigate the trail of SME Bank money in that country. SME Bank is owned 65 percent by the Namibian government, in a venture with minority private investors from Zimbabwe. “There is a high possibility that this is organised crime … where locals and foreigners are involved,” Ndeitunga said yesterday. “We made a lot of progress. The police members, who are part of the team, visited South Africa and gathered necessary evidence that could be valuable to our investigation.” The police started investigations after the Bank of Namibia referred the case to the commercial crime investigation division. “I can consider it as an investigation [that] is progressing well,” Ndeitunga said. Photo: Emmency Nuukala No moolah… Simon Paulus (second from right), a security guard at the SME Bank main branch in Windhoek, explains to worried clients that ATMs were not functioning and that no money was available. New Era understands that clients kept coming to the bank since the morning to try and withdraw their funds. The Anti Corruption Commission (ACC) director Paulus Noa yesterday said the commission would gladly join the task team investigating the case, if asked. The ACC is currently not involved with the case. South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku yesterday told New Era that it has been requested by Ndeitunga Desie Heita Windhoek The National Energy Fund (NEF) – which has invested N0 million in the newly liquidated SME Bank – may struggle to get its money back after revelations in court this week that the bank only had N million on its books. Of the N0 million, there was N7 million in a call account. The balance was in a fixed deposit account that was set to mature in October this year. The government uses the Oshikoto regional conference postponed again Obrein Simasiku Omuthiya Swapo regional coordinator for Oshikoto, Armas Amukwiyu, said on Tuesday he was “unable to gather courage” to inform delegates that the party regional conference, originally scheduled for yesterday, had been postponed. This was after Swapo secretarygeneral Nangolo Mbumba directed that no such conference should take place before several processes, including vetting of candidates and supervision of such process by national leaders assigned to Oshikoto, were complied with. Mbumba said the Swapo politburo is also currently looking into the issues of Oshikoto and no conference should be held until the body has pronounced itself on the various matters. Amukwiyu, in a letter to Mbumba on Tuesday, said he did not have the courage to inform delegates and service providers, some of whom had already arrived at Omuthiya, to go back home. OSHIKOTO on page 2 SAGA on page 2 Lieutenant-General Sebastian Ndeitunga NEF in bid to rescue its N0 million from SME Bank energy fund to subsidise the price of fuel in the country by equalising fuel prices when the prices of oil in international markets are too costly for Namibian consumers. The fund also pays out the road delivery subsidy for transportation of fuel to rural and remote areas of the country. It emerged that the fund tried to withdraw its money after the Bank of Namibia asked the High Court to finalise the winding up of SME Bank. NEF on page 2 Photo: Obrein Simasiku Present but no meeting… Oshikoto regional secretary for information and mobilisation, David Mulunga, regional coordinator Armas Amukwiyu, former secretary general Ngarikutuke Tjiriange and Oshikoto governor Henock Kankoshi. New Era Newspaper @NewEraNewspaper #NewEraNewspaper • •

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